A developer has offered to buy the hospital property and lease most of the main building to health care providers for an urgent care center, fitness center and other non-hospital facilities, State University of New York officials told the New York Times. The urgent care facilities would not receive ambulance calls.
The other structures would be turned into condominiums.
The Cobble Hill hospital has been the subject of a drawn out battle between Brooklyn residents and SUNY, which has made several attempts to close the hospital over the last year.
“We’re doing exactly what the community has asked us to do all along, and that is to find us another operator,” said H. Carl McCall, chairman of the university trustees told the newspaper. He declined to provide the name of the developer.
The state has maintained that LICH is losing money and can no longer be run successfully, but unions and community members say the hospital is integral to emergency care in Brooklyn.
The SUNY board of trustees is expected to vote on whether to continue negotiations with the developer at a meeting Tuesday afternoon in Midtown.
Unions and community members have planned to protest at the SUNY College of Optometry at 2 p.m., where SUNY officials will possibly discuss the hospital’s fate.
Supporters of the hospital demand that LICH remain a full-service hospital for locals, especially for residents of Brooklyn’s largest housing development in Red Hook.
“This trend of turning hospitals into condos must stop. Profits for real estate developers should never be put before care for patients,” said Jill Furillo, director of the New York State Nurses Association, in a statement.
UPDATE: SUNY officials withdrew a vote that would lead to negotiations with Fortis Property Group Tuesday evening. The group had proposed bringing condominiums and an urgent care facility to Long Island College Hospital.